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Int J Clin Exp Pathol. 2009 Nov 10;3(2):139-46.

Biomarker profile in breast carcinomas presenting with bone metastasis.

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Department of Pathology, Magee-Women's Hospital of University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3180, USA.


Bone is the most preferred site for metastatic dissemination in breast cancer. The purpose of this study was to examine the expression of a set of antibodies that could serve as predictive biomarkers associated with breast cancer metastasis in a subset of sixteen (16) breast cancer patients who developed bone metastasis. The clinical and pathologic data were obtained, and tissue microarrays were constructed. Tissue microarray slides were stained for TFF-1, CXRC4, MMP1, PTHrP, HER2, CD44, FGFR3 and IL-11. The expression rates were compared between the metastatic breast cancer to bone (MBC-B) group and a group of sixty-four (64) primary breast cancer (PBC). The results demonstrated that MBC-B group patients were more likely to be HER2 positive (P = 0.016). There was no significant difference on estrogen receptor or progesterone receptor expression between MBC-B group and PBC group (P > 0.05). There was a high expression of CXCR4, MMP-1, CD44, TFF-1, PTHrP, FGFR3 and IL-11, in both, PBC and MBC-B, and no significant differences between the groups were identified. We found that tumors associated with bone metastasis tended to be larger than 2 cm. The high morbidity associated to metastatic breast cancer prompts the identification of predictive biomarkers of relapse of breast tumors to categorize patients at high risk of bone metastasis and serve as targeted therapy.


Breast cancer; ER; HER2; TFF-1; bone metastasis; immunohistochemistry

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